In what way do you not fit in with the family you grew up with?
“That girl isn’t right.”
“She has far too much spirit.”
“Poor Jin. Such a troublesome daughter he has.”
“Mika must be so ashamed. She puts on such a brave face.”
“That hair is offensive.”
“She can never hide with that hair. I don’t understand why the elders don’t make her cut it.”
Whispers and murmurs reached Kita’s ears no matter where she was on the island. Her people didn’t understand her, so they didn’t trust her. They spoke in hushed tones beneath masks and behind hands, as though the words would not find her, and twist her heart.
Always she held her chin high, face towards the sun and the sea, praying to the gods that one day they would see. She was as good or better than every other ninja in the clan. It didn’t matter that she spent her days in the bay playing among the shipwrecks looking for treasure that had long ago been salvaged or lounging in the highest branches of the trees staring out over the water, hoping to see a sail on the horizon.
Of course, the horizon was covered in mist. If she saw sails, they would be close enough to see her, and there would be fighting. Kita sighed. Always the fighting. No one had ever been able to give her a satisfying answer to “why must we fight them?” and everyone always looked appalled that she even had to ask. She wondered if she might be better off asking a pirate.
Her red hair streamed behind her in a tail at her nape as a breeze off the sea filled her nostrils with salty air. It was the only way the clan elders would allow her to keep it long, and Kita suspected her mother had had a hand in their concession. Mika was a noble’s daughter, her marriage into the clan a political one to keep the alliance strong. Her husband was no one influential, but Jin was their strongest warrior. There were no politics in their love for each other, though. That was whole and true.
And Kita was the embodiment of that fire between them. They had never once made her feel like an oddity. Perhaps it was their whole family that was odd. Jin and Mika always encouraged Kita to express herself as much as she wished. They didn’t question when she wanted to go to the water and even followed her, laughing with her as she clambered over the rocky shore and scrambled across the wreckage.
She didn’t understand the other villagers claiming her parents should be ashamed of her. They had made her into the best ninja she could be. So what if she liked to laugh and dance as she ran the courses? It was everyone else who was too reserved. After she passed her trials and became an adult, she would be allowed to speak to the council. She would make them see. She would bring the ninjas out of the shadows.
Notes: Two Kita stories in a row! This one was more or less always going to have her as the focal point. I make a point of explaining how she’s very much an outcast from her people almost every time I write her, but this really expands upon it. The ninjas are a mysterious bunch even for me, and that’s not great when I have to write Kita’s struggles with her past. Speaking of, meet her parents! I can’t remember if I came up with Mika the ninja before Mika, Ali’s daughter, though I think the latter came first. I went down a rabbit hole of file folders in my computer to find a file I knew I had started a background for Kita in which I named her parents. I refused to believe I had reused a character’s name, but here it is. Then again, I have like 3 Cari’s so I really shouldn’t be surprised with myself.
There’s some more world building to be done for this tale and exploring it here was kind of fun. I thought I would have more dialogue between Kita and her parents in this one, really show their relationship, but the showing was not flowing tonight. Oh well, at least the words were written, right?
As for myself and my family, before my mini me was old enough to appreciate it, I was the only one in my family who enjoyed and regularly watched anime. I’m also a lot more reserved/introverted and incredibly less ambitious than my younger middle sisters. They were the go-getters. Still are. They’re doing great things. I’m just sort of floating through life one day at a time. Definitely the odd one out. Like Kita.
How about you? Is there a way you don’t mesh with your relatives? Did you struggle to get along with your siblings growing up? Write about your experiences! Books are full of characters who don’t quite fit in! Help them find the place they belong! I know you can do it!
Ok, now it’s time for me to go to bed. Have a great Wednesday! See you tomorrow night with a new prompt!
PS-Like these prompts? Like the short stories I write based on these prompts? Want to show your support? Give the blog a follow! Leave a comment! Buy me a coffee! I put a lot of time and effort into these posts and your support means the world to me! Ok, now go out there and write!